Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Benefit 10 Powder ($28.00) is a combination highlighter and bronzing duo. If you’ve seen Benefit’s other powders like CORALista or Dandelion, it’s the same idea, but the powder is split in half — half is a bronzer, half is a highlighter. The highlighter is a light, milky silvery-pink with soft sheen but no real glitter particles (that’s a good thing, by the way). The bronzer is similar in texture and sheen, except it’s a peachy-bronze color with gold sheen. You can see how I used it in a look here.

10 is one of those products that takes some trial and error before you can appreciate its genius. Once you do get the hang of it, though, it is a grab-and-go kind of experience. I personally used the 168 and 169 respectively for this product, and I found it worked just right for me. I do suggest using a light hand initially, so you don’t over-do it or get a ruddy/muddy result. The highlighter is just that–a highlighter–so unless you are extremely fair, don’t go into it expecting to use it as a pink blush!

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Dior Pop Diamond Skin Shimmericon ($43.00) is the latest limited edition DiorSkin Shimmer Powder. Amber Diamond and Rose Diamond are permanent Skin Shimmers, and last year saw limited edition Copper Diamond. If you’ve been reading for a few months, you probably know my obsession with both Amber Diamond and Rose Diamond. As soon as I heard Pop Diamond was coming out with Dior’s Cristal Collection, I swooned.

For anyone who felt like Rose Diamond ran too cool for them, I definitely suggest sneaking a peek at Pop Diamond. Pop Diamond is pinky-peach, which makes it a much warmer color to wear. I don’t feel it is overly warm, though, so I still think it is a universally flattering shade, like the other Skin Shimmers. I also think it is different enough from Rose Diamond to merit owning both–Rose Diamond is a cooler, paler pink, whereas Pop Diamond is a brighter, warmer pink with more gold/peach sheen.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase. I saw it on the displayer, and I was like, “One please!” I actually just caved and bought Copper Diamond off StrawberryNet this morning, so I can own them all.

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Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Laura Mercier’s Gilded Garden Collection debuted for the spring season with several fun, perfect-for-spring products. The collection included eyeshadows in Lilac, Marigold, Orchid, and Pink Tulip ($22.00 each); Stickgloss in Azalea and Tiger Lily ($20.00 each); and Lip Stains in English Rose and Hibiscus ($20.00 each); and the Gilded Garden Mosaic Shimmer Bloc ($38.00).

The Gilded Garden Mosaic Shimmer Bloc features a pretty flowery pattern in it, which just screams “SPRING!” to me.  The two large flowers in a coral-pink and fuchsia-pink are slightly raised. They’re raised enough that I wasn’t able to swatch through to see if they go all the way through the powder. (But I’m hoping they do.)

This Shimmer Bloc is much like Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks in the texture and finish–smooth, but still quite frosty. If you’re not a fan of noticeable shimmer/frost, then I’d definitely stay clear of this. If, however, you love Shimmerbricks, you’ll want to check out Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Blocs.

The overall color you get when swirling the entire Shimmer Bloc together is a almost neutral-but-slightly-cool, frosty pink. It can be used as a blusher or to highlight your favorite pink blushes.

Anyone else have this?

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Collection is a mix of summery color goodness from a gorgeous blush to a “Sand and Sea” eyeshadow palette. The collection features a Matte and Shimmer Bronzer ($30.00 each), a Duo Bronzer ($31.00), Pure Color Gloss Stick in Orange Poppy and Pop Pink ($18.50 each), Luminous Liquid Bronzer ($28.50), SunBlush Illuminator ($32.00), Sand & Sea Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00), Duo Tone Eye Pencil ($18.50), Pure Color Lipstick in Golden Goddess ($18.50), High Gloss in Golden Goddess, Coral Goddess, and Rose Goddess ($17.00 each), and finally Pure Color Nail Lacqueri n Golden Goddess ($18.00).

The SunBlush Illuminator ($32.00) is a “blush and illuminator in one.” The center is a pinky-coral shade–perfect for summer–and the outer ring is more of a peachy shade with more shimmer than the center color. You can easily use just the center color if you so wish, but using just the outside color will be more difficult. To be honest, I prefer them swirled and used as one. Together they make a very pretty pink-coral color with golden sheen. I definitely will be reaching for this during the summer!

The Sand & Sea Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00) is a good mix of cool and warm shades of color. I really love the theme of “Sand & Sea,” and I feel they hit it dead on. You get a medium bright blue paired with a lighter, more sky blue shade for your “sea.” You have a rich, warm deep brown with red toned shade as your darkest color in the palette. There is a pop of true gold and a medium brown with gold-peach sheen for “sand.” The lightest shade is a fairly nude highlighter, but it also gives off a blue-gray sheen. I give kudos to Estee Lauder for putting out such a fun mix of colors for their summer collection! Color texture was smooth and soft, and the color pigmentation was exactly what I wanted–there!

I can also appreciate the packaging on both the Illuminator and Eyeshadow Palette, because they’re in a warm, bronzy-brown color with gold detailing, but it doesn’t feel like traditional Estee Lauder packaging–it feels younger. Yay!

Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Collection is available now at Nordstrom.com.

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009


Platinum Pink Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown’s Platinum Collection for Spring is a small launch that features a new shimmer brick, Platinum Pink ($40), four shades of Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow ($22), and three shades of (Shimmering) Lip Gloss ($20). The collection is available at Nordstrom.com, for those looking to buy online.

I know for most of you, the item that stands out is the shimmer brick, and thus, let’s review the shimmer brick, shall we?

With five stripes of color, shimmer bricks can be used as eyeshadows, highlighters, or blushers. They can be used wet or dry, because they’re very much like baked products. Platinum Pink has a very spring-into-summer kind of feel to me (almost more summer than spring, to be honest). I remember a few readers were concerned with a silver stripe of color, but not to fear, the silver is flecked so much with a yellow-gold sheen it won’t look awkward or misplaced on your face. The colors look pretty when swatched alone, and when swirled and swatched as one, you get a slightly-cool pastel pink shimmery shade.

I find I use my shimmer bricks mostly as blushers/highlighters, so I’m always more interested in seeing how they work together than alone. I do like the shade they create, and the color shows up so-so on my cheeks. It’s not an ultra deep pigmented pink on my cheeks, but it’s a subtle pink flush appropriate for daytime wear or to match bolder eyes/lips with. Shimmer bricks, by their nature, have a lot of shimmer. This one is definitely shimmery, but I wouldn’t call it glittery or chunky in its shimmer either. Of course, if you’re more into subtle shimmer/sheen, I’d pass on the shimmer bricks (if you aren’t able to try them in person, that is, otherwise, at least try!) and opt for something like Dior’s Rose Diamond or Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer, which have a more “sophisticated” sheen.

See swatches, plus a mini-review of Confetti Lip GlossContinue reading →

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Next in Givenchy’s Maharani Collection are the Prismissimes, which are compacts filled with nine shades to be used on the face or the eyes. The Spring collection features #21 Maharani Pinks and #22 Maharani Apricots ($53.00 each). Both palettes feature eight subtly shimmered or matte shadows, plus one frosty shadow smack dab in the middle.

Maharani Pinks contains four shades of soft brown-based beige paired with four shades of soft, subtle pink. In the middle is a frosty, warm, copper bronze color. The way Givenchy does their Prismissimes, the four shades are actually a gradient–meaning there is the lighest brown-based beige, a medium colored, then a medium-dee, and then a darker shade–that are all similar to each other. The same story is repeated with the pink colors, too.

The texture of Prismissimes’ shadows is always velvety smooth. I tend to find that there is not enough variation in one Prismissimes to do a whole host of eye looks, but you can get some good standbys with this quad (what with the beiges) and subtly cheeks with the pinks. For me, each color squaer is too small for me to really love it as a face/blusher, unfortunately. I’d much rather get one of their Prisme Again! Blush Quartets ($40.00).

Maharani Apricots is formatted just like Maharani Pinks, except the colors are a little darker to begin with. Four shades go from light to dark in a neutral brown color family, while the other four are a peachy-brown shade going from apricot peach to peach-brown. In the center is a rich, frosty medium-to-dark brown shade. Again, the textures of this product is the same as Maharani Pinks — smooth and velvety.

Each Prismissime comes with a cute little brush that’s designed to be used as a face brush (since it’s quite wide). What I liked about the brush was that it was also appropriately designed with the same theme as the palettes themselves. It’s just a nice touch, you know? Overall, I’m not sure these are totally worth their value, and I’d probably rather get two of the Blush Quartets instead. Then again, I haven’t tried using either as a face product, and I am curious to see how pinks and browns end up together…

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